Criteria for Adjudication 

Higher order concerns

  • The paper’s central thesis, focus, hypothesis, or observation is perceptive, incisive, and richly developed.
  • Research is employed in developing the key argument and is compared and contrasted (as appropriate).
  • A deep, nuanced understanding of the subject matter is evident throughout the paper.
  • The writing style engages the reader.
  • The paper reflects the principles of inclusive and antiracist writing.
  • For papers that are written by or about Indigenous Peoples, or about Indigenous topics, the writing reflects the principles outlined in Dr. Gregory Younging's book Elements of Indigenous Style.
  • The paper is well organized.

Lower order concerns

  • Skillful transitions between paragraphs and arguments
  • Vocabulary is well-chosen and there is variety in sentence structures.
  • Few, if any, errors in citation.
  • Papers show evidence of thoughtful revision/editing.
  • Judges must give equitable consideration to all writers. The contest welcomes papers written "with an accent" and papers that challenge the traditional hegemonic norms of academic writing. 
  • With this criteria, the SLC reaffirms the CCCC's statement on Students' Right to their own Language

The excellence of all papers should be judged consistently, using the criteria above; however, the Writing Contest committee acknowledges that excellence in writing is not culturally or disciplinarily neutral. Everyone involved with the writing contest will work toward greater awareness of our unconscious biases about what makes for “good” writing as we engage with student submissions. 

Judging Panels

First Year Category Judges 

Dr. Petra Menz - Department of Mathematics 

Dr. Craig Orr - School of Environmental Science 

Dr. Daniel Ahadi - School of Communications  

 Middle Years Category Judges 

Denise Oleksijczuk - School for the Contemporary Arts

Dr. Tara Holland - School of Environmental Science

Dr. Jennifer Wang - Department of Philosophy

Fourth Year+ Category Judges 

Dr. Ryan Tacata - School for the Contemporary Arts

Dr. Nicky Didicher - Department of English

Dr. Jacquie Nelsen - School of Computing Science

Plurilingual Prize Category Judges 

Cecilia Sierra Heredia – Faculty of Health Sciences

Dr. Sheri Fabian – School of Criminology, Director of the Institute for the Study of Teaching and Learning in the Disciplines (ISTLD)

Eilidh Singh - EAL Consultant, Centre for Educational Excellence